I work for an international oil & gas company, and over the last 5 years or so have worked in all corners of the world. I've just started a new assignment working offshore on an oil rig in India.
While it's usual for me to have a bit of anxiety, homesickness or just nerves when starting a new assignment somewhere, this time has been different. A mixture of conditions on the rig, lack of other expats to talk to and a new role have meant I've really struggled. I've been feeling constantly anxious and have barely slept. Getting to sleep is not such a problem as I'm exhausted, but I always seem to wake up after a few hours in the middle of a panic attack. All I can think about at those times is that I want to get off the rig and go home.
I've got 2 weeks left of this hitch (I work 4 weeks on, 4 weeks off) then I can go home. I'm getting better at coping with the anxiety (sleeping pills to help me sleep, and talking to home to help me calm down during panic attacks) to the point that during my shift, I'm ok with only a background feeling of being tense. I'm still waking up with panic attacks though, and the morning is the worst time.
My dilemma is, should I come back to the rig after my 4 weeks time off? When I'm in panic mode, the answer is a definite "No way!" but when I'm having one of my more positive moments I can't help but thinking I'm a fraud, and that I should just man up and get on with it.
This is obviously different from a lot of other people who unfortunately can't escape their anxiety. To escape mine, I know I just need to go home and I'll be fine. Is deliberately coming back to the rig in India, with the inevitable consequences, stupid or brave? Is there any chance I could make myself worse by putting myself in this situation?